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My problem with 9/11
Oil and Money
I was barely alive on 9/11. A mere five years old.
The only friends of mine who remember what happened had family in the buildings or worked near Ground Zero. They got a free pass from school, just in case their parents were dead.
That said, and I don't want to be disrespectful, I have a problem with 9/11.
It's not how the towers fell, or why footage of the planes hitting the Pentagon was never released (though that is strange), or that we were warned by several intelligence agencies, including Vladimir Putin, that an attack on New York City would happen.
But what I think is the most salient and misunderstood takeaway from 9/11 is how we were lied into another war.
Why? Why did we go to war with Iraq?
Why is every subsequent 9/11 memorial service remembering the dead but conveniently forgetting what happened after?
Everything that happened post-9/11 is a drunken stumble into the abyss of endless war — one that empirically makes little sense. 15 out of the 19 hijackers were Saudi Arabian. And the other four? None were Iraqi.
What the fuck?
300,000 people died in a war based on lies and paranoia.
I know some of you will take issue with my views here or how a kid who was in diapers on 9/11 shouldn’t have an opinion. But the facts are there. I firmly believe that you can't control what happens to you but you can control how you react.
I'm diving into "Confronting Saddam Hussein: George W. Bush and the Invasion of Iraq" by Melvyn P. Leffler. It's a ruthless account of the decision-makers behind the Iraq invasion. I haven't reached the end, but it's clear that the Bush administration, in their utter failure to prevent 9/11, wanted to show the world we could kill just as well as the terrorists. Eye for an eye. Tooth for a tooth.
Iraq wasn't just an avarice cash grab for oil and money, although a lot of that was happening, too.
It was driven by fear; sadly, very few had the guts to oppose it.
It's like the famous George W. Bush line post 9/11: "You're either with us or against us."
At this point, I could go on like how journalists like Judith Miller whipped the media with lies and half-truths about weapons of mass destruction or how John Bolton admitted that deceiving the public about the war was "good."
But my point is that there's a crucial lesson in 9/11 and every year we turn it into a moment of silence and sadness to be mostly forgotten about until the next anniversary.
I think this cheapens the victim’s deaths in more ways than one.
And as I point out, it was easy to fall for hysterics back then but that's only more reason why we should be more vigilant today. It's like what happened with Covid-19: watching people align on a narrative like iron filings conforming to magnetic field lines based on fear. It was like every American got body-snatched or the NPC switches in their brains activated en-masse.
You don't want leaders who rule with fear or paranoia. That's why it's important to remember what happened on 9/11 and not let anyone forget how we were misled into war just because of the shock of a tragedy.
Respectfully, I now live 30 minutes away from the towers (and the new tower) and can’t help but think this every time I look in that direction. Have a good Monday.
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